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Kalideck Releases Water-Resistant Poster For Outdoor Marketing Campaigns

Kalideck Releases Water-Resistant Poster For Outdoor Marketing Campaigns

Kalideck’s new Displayline Print SAPINO is an environmentally friendly and cost-effective all-weather solid board solution for highly effective retail displays, point of sale (POS) materials and outdoor street pole promotions and campaigns. 

The FSC® certified chipboard is water-resistant for up to one year outdoors and is therefore the perfect choice for outdoor promotions instead of plastic materials. It is also recyclable. The product can also be used as election campaign boards. 

Key features:

  • 90% wood fibre forms part of a closed-loop material’s life cycle.
  • Quicker to assemble and dispose of than existing placards.
  • This is an ABS and Correx replacement product.


The One Club Announces South African Judges For The One Show 2021

The One Club Announces South African Judges For The One Show 2021
South African Judges For The One Show 2021.

More than 250 top creatives from 42 countries will judge work for The One Show 2021 from around the world. Seven of The One Club for Creativity jury members are from South Africa, and their judging disciplines are as follows:

  • Camilla Clerke, ECD, Ogilvy, Cape Town (Social Media). 
  • Nkanyezi Masango, ECD, King James, Cape Town (Interactive and Online/Digital Craft/Mobile). 
  • Jacquie Mullany, ECD, VMLY&R, Johannesburg (Interactive and Online/Digital Craft/Mobile).
  • Steph van Niekerk, CD, Grey, Johannesburg (Radio and Audio).
  • Tseliso Rangaka, CCO, FBC, Johannesburg (Print and Out-of-Home).
  • Roanna Williams, CCO, Net#work BBDO, Johannesburg (Branded Entertainment).
  • Monalisa Zwambila, founder/CEO, The Riverbed Agency, Bryanston (Public Relations).

The complete list of the global jury for The One Show 2021 juries can be viewed here. To ensure the safety of jurors during the continued pandemic, all judging will be conducted online for the second year in a row.

Kevin Swanepoel, CEO, The One Club said, ’The quality of jurors has long been a hallmark of The One Show. This group is among the industry’s top creative thinkers and doers from around the world who will judge work through the lens of creativity of ideas and quality of execution.’

After providing the creative community with last year’s largest global awards show and definitive international and regional creative rankings, The One Club for Creativity is now accepting entries for The One Show 2021.

Notable changes have been made to help agencies and brands who continue to be affected by the global pandemic, including extended deadlines and new categories and disciplines that reflect the way the industry now works.

Entries can be submitted now. The regular deadline is 12 March 2021, extended deadline is 19 March 2021, and final deadline is 26 March 2021. The One Club is a non-profit organisation that puts revenue generated from awards entries back into the industry to fund programmes under its four pillars: diversity and inclusion, education, gender equality and professional development.  


Migration To Digital Media And Channels Creates Exciting Opportunities For Marketers

Migration To Digital Media And Channels Creates Exciting Opportunities For Marketers

According to Grant Lapping, Managing Director at DataCore Media, getting the full value from consumer data may require a mental shift for some marketers. The data is only truly valuable when it is used to create more personalised customer engagements and experiences. If brands continue to push out generic campaigns rather than messages targeted to personal wants and needs, the data is wasted.

Suddenly, the universe of consumer data that South African brands have at their disposal has expanded. As people shift online, they leave traces of their preferences, interests and behaviours behind in the form of digital signals. Brands can harvest this data to drive a better understanding of the consumer.

Even with the good news about successful vaccine trials around the world, we are most likely still months away from the end of the Covid-19 pandemic. Consumer behaviour is far from returning to normal and it seems unlikely that people will return to all of their former habits when we leave the world of lockdowns and quarantines completely behind.

Indeed, recent research from McKinsey indicates that South African consumers have been in no rush to resume old behaviours, even when lockdown restrictions eased to Level 1. Its consumer survey data shows that 60% of consumers are not yet resuming normal ‘out of home’ activities.

Spending more time at home translates into spending more time online. Consumer research from Mastercard shows that 76% of South Africans learnt to bank online and 52% learnt to manage their health and get their medicines online under lockdown. Some 52% agreed they have spent more money on virtual experiences than they did before the pandemic.  

At a time when people’s movement is restricted, we have seen explosive demand for online services. The size of South Africa’s digital ecosystem has grown vastly, with many consumers who were forced to reluctantly move online to shop, find entertainment and work under lockdown discovering that they actually prefer it. 

No return to analogue

It seems safe to assume that many, if not most, will continue to use digital tools and channels rather than analogue ones, even when it is safe to go to big gatherings again or shop without a facemask. This significant migration to digital media and channels creates exciting opportunities for companies to reinvent the ways in which they interact with consumers. 

Interestingly, it seems that many marketers, like some consumers, were forced to test digital channels more rigorously under lockdown. Research from Integral Ad Science (IAS) surveying 36 companies in South Africa found that digital media spend fell far less under lockdown than overall media spend.  

Digital media spending only contracted 3.7% compared to 18.8% for above-the-line and 26.6% for below-the-line. A third of the companies in the survey indicated that they increased digital spend by up to 50% and 25% kept it stable. This indicates that many brands are following their customers online. 

It also supports our view that brands are reviewing media spending in difficult economic times, looking towards digital channels that give them great accountability and measurability of performance from exposure to a marketing message to the conversion of a customer.

Flexibility and cost savings

The flexibility and low entry costs of digital media are also factors at a time when brands are reluctant to commit large budgets. Digital media plans give marketers the ability to optimise spending to improve results as well as to rapidly adjust campaigns in a volatile market where we cannot be sure we will not see more lockdowns or virus surges.

Beyond marketing, many brands will need to think about how they can better deliver their offerings in a virtual paradigm. Large retailers that do not offer frictionless home delivery will lose out to competitors who do; gyms may struggle to get some people back after they have become used to online classes and restaurants will need to evaluate how they compete with dark kitchens.

Over the next few months, digital adoption will become even stronger in South Africa. We are seeing digital marketing and digital consumer behaviour starting to reinforce each other through a feedback loop. As more people go online, more brands follow them. As brands create more and better digital experiences, more people have more reasons to be online. Traditional brands that are not taking note of this trend risk falling behind the curve.


Brands Should Target People’s Hearts

Brands Should Target People’s Hearts
Isla Prentis, Head of Tirisano Consulting at The MediaShop.

Isla Prentis, Head of Tirisano Consulting at The MediaShop, says behavioural science shows that people are led by their hearts. Even when we think that we are making a logical, thought-through purchase decision, it is mostly our brain working overtime to justify what the heart wants.

When we remember that audiences are not machines but groups of human beings, then we must realise that brands need to connect through different emotions. Behavioural economics and marketing science provide us with empirical evidence that we need to broaden the reach and target the category. If you aren’t yet familiar with these methods, a great starting place is Byron Sharp’s book How Brands Grow.

If you are anything like me, then you start your year off by reading all the different trends and predictions for the upcoming year – 2020 was no different, except that there were trends for the entire decade! Amongst these trends was one that received a lot of hype: personalisation.

Whenever a trend has that much hype, I worry about it. Why? Well when a trend is overhyped, the term tends to be thrown around for the sake of appearing to be on-trend (often misinterpreted) rather than by understanding it and applying it correctly. So let us unpack this trend.

First, we need to rewind and remind ourselves of the context. In the early 2000s, marketing focus shifted from mass to one-on-one as we realised that audiences are not all like-minded. But there was a major flaw with this approach. Individual communication at the time was extremely cost intensive, which meant that brands started to reduce their audiences. 

So as we enter this new decade, we need to remember to look at all the learnings and string them together rather than just focusing on the latest trend or buzzword. We need to be intensely careful that the trend of personalisation does not take us back to the era of one-on-one communication described earlier. We don’t want to repeat past mistakes. 

It is unclear who first said ‘Understanding is deeper than knowledge. There are many people who know me but not many who understand me’, but it is a quote that I like to refer to because it reminds us that we need to strive to understand the human beings that make up our markets in order to resonate. There are many things that allow us to connect to emotions: names, interests and language are just a few that come to mind.

When looking through the web for an example to share, I was also reminded that mass personalisation is by no means new and it has been a topic of conversation for quite a number of years already. So rather than sharing an example that is just the latest, I have chosen to share an example that illustrates the concept of mass personalisation the best below. I am sure you are all familiar with this campaign (after all, if I use an example you don’t know about – was it really successful at achieving the mass part of the equation?) This campaign was particularly successful because they customised it for each market, and then continued to grow the story subsequently.

Brands Should Targeting People’s Hearts

And so it is with this in mind that personalisation has a place and a chance to make a real impact. Personalisation allows us to use technology – analytics, AI and machine learning – to understand the humans that we are talking to and adapt communication to the individual at scale. That is how we create this paradox of mass personalisation – we can aim to reach the entire category but still connect with each and every one of them individually.


Marketing Tips For 2021

Marketing Tips For 2021

Stephanie Heitman, managing editor of the LOCALiQ blog, states that it is time to get to work. The holidays are over, your marketing plan is ready to go and the world is your oyster when it comes to making a splash with your marketing in 2021.

Here are some of creative January marketing ideas:

Revisit what worked last year (and what didn’t)

Here are some ideas of what to look at:

  • What content or webpages performed best for you?
  • What resonated with your audiences on social media – top posts, most engaging posts, etc.?
  • What email subject lines got the best open rates?
  • What marketing strategies, campaigns, or channels drove the most leads?
  • What didn’t perform as well as you thought it would – and how could it be improved?

Update your Google My Business profile

A robust Google My Business profile is more important now than ever. If you want to show up when local searchers are trying to find businesses like yours on Google or in Google Maps, a complete and optimised Google Business profile is the place to start.

Run a Facebook ad campaign

If you have not tested out Facebook advertising, now is a great time to do so to get your marketing started off right. Think about a specific marketing goal you would like to accomplish – say, getting more website visitors, growing your audience on Facebook, or collecting leads. You can do any of those with a specific Facebook adIf you have some great beginning-of-the-year specials or promotions, you can use them in your advertising copy to entice new customers.

Read up on 2021 marketing trends and predictions

With the new year comes a ton of new content around what to expect in the world of marketing and business in general. Find some articles or blog posts that will get you up to speed on what the experts expect to be big this year in your own industry, and jot down some ideas or trends that you might want to try out!

Solidify your yearly goals or marketing plan

Whether you are an agency marketer, a business owner or a freelancer, it is important to have both personal and professional goals for the year. Take some time at the beginning of the month to make sure your goals and your marketing plan are solidified.

As we know, things can change quickly, but having a documented plan or a growth strategy in place can make the difference between hitting your revenue goals for the year and missing them.

This article was sourced from WordStream


Content Creators Improving Digital Content Quality To Attract Audiences

Content Creators Improving Digital Content Quality To Attract Audiences
Siya Metane, CEO of SlikourOnLife.

According to Siya Metane, CEO of SlikourOnLife, 2021 is the year we are going to see a considerable shift in creators becoming deliberate content creators and curators. Not only are they going to have to be very conscious of quality to attract increasingly fickle audiences, but they are also going to need a platform that offers more depth than Instagram and Facebook.

This leads to my prediction that YouTube will become an even bigger digital player than it already is. With no gigs, concerts or tours for most of 2020, creatives have had to find another way to engage their audience and inevitably this has meant digital content creation.

We will see creatives curated on their own YouTube channels in much the same way they have been on other social media channels. Until now, many creatives have been focused on digital content creation for social or vanity purposes. There will now be a greater appetite to understand and embrace the real value of their content in digital. Think of it like television or streaming platforms looking at curating content that will keep their viewers engaged to keep their revenue. In a smaller way, creatives will have the same parallel in their micro-world.

What does this have to do with marketing? Everything.

Collaborating with brands is how creatives will monetise their work. Content is such a powerful means for young people to identify with themselves, and creatives are sometimes the artistic reflection of consumer insights that brands are trying to tap into.

This is going to give rise to a new role within marketing and branding agencies: content curators. They will categorise the content creators and match them to brands, which will be looking for consistency and quality for their clients. Indeed, no one understands better how their clients’ brands fit into culture. Soon agencies or even brands will have content curation departments – central coordination hubs that manage the collaboration ecosystem between creatives and brands.

This is where the talent managers, editors, videographers, photographers, etc. will sit, enabling the consistently high-quality content creation the agencies need to deliver at the speed and agility of culture. And because they are being paid and looked after, creatives will become more loyal, which will overcome them brand-hopping for better deals.

We will see plenty of scope for all creatives, not just the big names. This is because there will be interest in pockets of micro-culture. Different communities are each their own culture microcosms, offering a lot of scope for up-and-coming creatives. People particularly like to honour their own, so home is often the best place for a creative to start.

Another emerging trend is that creatives will diversify their content. Think musician J’Something, who came to fame as the lead singer of MiCasa but soon diversified into his other love of cooking, with a recipe book, a TV cooking show and a restaurant. The boxing of creatives – a musician only makes songs – is going to end because songs are going to be part of the creative output and less a stand-alone product.

Now we are going to see how it plays out in content creators’ worlds and how consumers embrace it. We will get broader creative outputs from creatives. And if they want to lead, they are going to have to do more than outpost their competitors. They are going to have to offer honest or well-researched, high-quality content, which is where the new content curators will come into their own.

While South Africa is particularly good at creating new genres like Amapiano, Kwaito, Motswako and Gqom, it is other African artists who spread them to the world. Jerusalema is a case in point, as is the attention Amapiano is getting now in Nigeria with artists like Davido, who has collaborated with American musicians Chris Brown, Niki Minaj and others. South Africa is going to lead Africa’s coming content evolution in precisely the same way.


Top-Performing Adverts On YouTube ZA

Top-Performing Adverts On YouTube ZA

YouTube announced a list of the top-performing advertisements on the platform in South Africa for 2020, with Sensodyne’s Take Control with Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum taking the top spot.

The 11-second Sensodyne advert features images and captions that animate from frame to frame, highlighting the benefits of using the product as well as the pain-points the product addresses. 

Vodacom’s Together #StayConnected advert (which depicts ordinary South Africans separated by the pandemic, yet connected by Vodacom) was produced by a team working remotely and based on just one director’s treatment presented via video conference. The scenes were all shot by the creative team’s industry-friends, in their own homes with their family members as the cast. This back-story reflects not only the creative concept but also the reality that we currently face as South Africans. 

Telkom’s Monate Summer is a vibrant 10-second advert celebrating Telkom Mobile’s 10th year anniversary with R100 million rand in prizes for customers who sign up for contracts or pre-paid SIM cards. 

Ad ranking is determined by an algorithm that factors in organic and paid views, watch time and audience retention over the period between January 1st 2020 to December 1st 2020. 

Top-performing adverts on YouTube ZA

  1. Sensodyne – Take Control with Sensodyne Sensitivity & Gum
  2. Vodacom – Together #StayConnected
  3. Telkom – Monate Summer
  4. Hippo.co.zaCould it get worse in an elevator? Yes!
  5. KFC – Tune into Family Time with our All in One Plus!
  6. Buscopan – Undo the knot. Embrace your life
  7. Samsung – Galaxy Z Fold 2. The next one unfolds
  8. Essentiale Extreme – Essentiale® Extreme | Stress
  9. Redbull – Red Bull Table
  10. Nissan – Break free with Nissan X-Trail

YouTube has more than 2.4billion users worldwide — almost one-third of all people on the internet — and every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views. More than 70% of YouTube watch time comes from mobile devices.


2021 Social Media Megatrends

2021 Social Media Megatrends

Social Media 101’s managing director, Leandri Janse van Vuuren, and Sabrina Andreucci, strategic director, look at the social media megatrends for this year, and what brands need to do to flourish in this space.

In July 2020, social media users surpassed 4.75 billion, which is more than half the global population, with 346 million new users joining in the 12 months prior. As traditional media strategies faltered, 2020 highlighted the growing relevance of social media marketing and the need for businesses to relook at customer engagement. Social media usage soared – both in the number of users and amount of time spent on social media platforms.

Offer valuable content for free

Social media users have always been spoilt for choice when it comes to online content and brands to follow. However, quantity doesn’t always mean quality. To stay relevant, brands need to bump up the amount of value offered. A stale social media calendar populated with #MotivationMondays and #ThrowBackThursdays is not going to cut it.

As a brand, you have your finger on the pulse of your industry, and this deep industry knowledge is valuable to your ideal customer. Anyone can find anything online, at the cost of their time, so brands need to provide information in easy, snackable formats. It does not mean giving away trade secrets, but rather about providing enough value so that your brand stays top of mind. If someone has a question or is looking for more detailed information, why not provide articles or white papers to aid their search?

There are several ways to provide value: free information, collaboration with users, product insights, industry knowledge and tips and tools such as useful calculators and downloadables.

The fierce competition to add more value has inspired brand owners to create online learning, webinars and long-form videos where users engage more deeply with a brand. If you are not adding value right now, weave in this critical ingredient into your 2021 social media plans.

Be an authentic brand

Users crave authenticity and real, genuine engagement and interactions with brands. As the digital world becomes more pervasive, we demand the ‘human touch’ in our online experience.

Although cancel culture, where people boycott users, brands and even social platforms, is thriving, many people still turn to social media for solace, community and connection. This is where brands can step in and be the hero.

Do not be afraid to humanise your brand. For example, show what happens behind the scenes. Selling a product? Share stories about how you make it and where the inspiration came from. Don’t forget to talk about the people behind the brand. Respond to user queries in a warm, human tone.

Being authentic means staying true to the purpose of being a brand and a business, not hiding behind insincere and irrelevant content. If you are selling, which you should be doing, sell authentically. Authentic selling means effectively communicating the value of your service or product. When a consumer can clearly see the value, it is easy for them to buy.

Lean into online complaints

This past year undermined most physical customer experiences, with some estimates indicating that South African online retail sales grew by around 40% during the last year. Social media will continue to evolve into true sales channels but will need impeccable customer service levels to succeed.

Online customer service is the glue that holds this new online dynamic together as users compliment, complain, enquire, shop and engage with brands. Users now, more than ever, use their online voice to ensure that brands deliver on what they promise.

They don’t like waiting on hold to talk to a representative. Social media presents an opportunity to wow customers by answering questions far more quickly and efficiently than the phone. You can stand out if your community managers are empowered to resolve queries and respond quickly. This means giving your online community managers the tools to make decisions that leave customers smiling.

Communicate your business’s purpose

People are looking towards the private sector to make a positive difference to the planet and their communities. They seek out brands that care and fearlessly expose those that don’t.

Purpose-driven companies that care about sustainability will be on the right side of history. But becoming purpose-driven is not something you can mimic on social media by just following popular trends or newsworthy topics.

As users hold higher expectations for what they expect businesses to contribute to the world, social media statements alone cannot make up for a lack of true brand purpose. It is truly time to ‘put your money where your mouth is’, and in doing this, it could really pay off.

Many brands stumbled in 2020, with the need to respond to public pressure and positively contribute to societal conversations ending up in knee-jerk reactions, many of which were called out as hypocritical. Businesses need to decide on a cause that makes sense to their brand and ideal customer, and stick to it for the long-term. For South African brands, supporting local products, companies and individuals is one way to become more sustainable and appeal to a local-conscious consumer.

Embrace your customers by embracing the data

This past year gave brand owners a renewed appreciation for social media, which became the bridge to connect with customers after other traditional media strategies failed. The downside of investing in a strong social media following is that you never really own this following. Platform algorithms change and technical glitches happen. There is a massive drive for brands to own their follower data.

Brand owners need to push social media engagement into a database. According to Hootsuite’s 2021 Social Trends survey, 85% of organisations that integrate social data into other systems have confidence in their ability to accurately quantify the ROI of social media.

If you own your follower data, you can reach out to offer valuable content or special offers. Email marketing remains a highly effective, if underrated, communications tool to nurture potential customers. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, email marketing is up to 40 times more effective than social media promotion. Promoting on social media is a great way to build up an email database.

To build that precious database, you must provide a high-value item – users are not going to give out their contact information for anything less. Gone are the days of a useless PDF guide that has no real value.


Creating Content That Stands The Test Of Facebook Time

Creating Content That Stands The Test Of Facebook Time

Pieter Geyser, Head of Digital PR and Marketing at Irvine Partners, says the sheer volume of content being shared globally has meant that over the last couple of months we have seen a dramatic and steady decline in the reach that organic content receives. It would be nearly impossible for Facebook to offer up every piece of created content. 

Due to this, Facebook tries their very best to show users the most relevant content available for them. As a Facebook user, you could spend less than 20 minutes looking at content online and within those 20 minutes, depending on how you have engaged with posts/pages or the videos you have watched, Facebook will start offering more of that type of content to your feeds. 

As content creators, we would all like to think that the content we produce is interesting enough to stand the test of time. Unfortunately for us, when it comes to Facebook, there are more than 30 billion pieces of content published on the platform each month that our posts have to compete with to make it into someone’s newsfeed.

You can actively watch this happen in the Facebook video stream. If you click on a video and start watching it, and then watch another video of the same type or from the same source straight afterwards, Facebook picks up that you like that type of content and will actively start throwing (quite relentlessly I might add) that type of content at you. You could (if you were paying attention) see the type of videos in that feed change based on how you interact. 

The problem with this, of course, is that while this is fantastic news if you are creating the type of content that the user is interested in and engaging with, if they don’t interact with the type of content that you are creating then they are not going to be served with your content. 

It may seem then that if Facebook isn’t going to show our content to its users, what is the point of even creating it? There is hope though. Back in the Dark Ages (you know, roughly one to two years ago) we used to try and post as much content as was humanly possible. We would run page like campaigns to increase our audience, which meant that our content plan of posting a bazillion times per day was going to help us smash those KPIs out of the park (hello bonus – am I right?) and we could almost just recycle content to get that reach. 

Facebook’s algorithm is a beast and to truly understand it would mean that you probably helped develop it (which I did not or I would not be writing this article). That being said, there are a few things that we know.

  • Inventory: what’s on the menu? What content has been posted by your friends and publishers? This is taking stock of what content is actively available (the more than 30 billion pieces of content each month).
  • Signals: breakfast, lunch or dinner? Who is posting this content and has the user ordered it before?
  • Predictions: would you like the Eggs Benedict? How likely are you as a user to engage with this content?
  • Score: here is your order, ‘but I didn’t order that’ – what is the relevance score of this content concerning the user? This determines which publisher’s content you will be shown. By clicking that like button a week ago at lunchtime, you have told Facebook that when you are online at that time that you want to see that content – enjoy those cute cat videos. 

This list goes on and on, but this provides a good indication as to what Facebook’s goal is with their algorithm. They are user-focused and they are trying to (as are most platforms) provide the best experience possible for their users – after all their users are their most valuable product. This means that they have prioritised high-quality and engaging content above overly promotional content, while user-generated content takes the top spot in the race for dominance. 

If you think that your brand is safe because you have a few thousand followers and your followers all love you, well let us have a look at what a Global brand like Coca-Cola is doing. Coke’s Facebook page has more than 100,000,000 (yeah one hundred million – with six zeroes) and while their page will be diced up and split between the regions, it is a safe assumption that their South African follower base is in the high millions. Their engagement, however, is not.  

Coca-Cola, a brand that sells happiness (in the form of sugar in a can) doesn’t get the type of reach you’d ever hope for from a brand with that many followers. Coke is our best indication of how the times have changed. We need to adapt our content strategies to start including more paid promotions and higher quality content. We need to be less worried about how much we are posting and more concerned with what we are posting. 

I did mention that all hope was not lost though, because Facebook has cultivated their product so well (their users) that we can purchase some space on their news feeds to drive our reach. Boosting of what would typically be organic posts is not a new feature to the platform, it has been around for years, but its relevance has never been more significant than where we are right now. Page likes are nothing more than a vanity figure that holds no value in making predictions about the type of reach or engagement your posts will receive in the next quarter. 

Key takeaways: 

Know your audience

Facebook’s audience, at its core, is built around interest, not intent. You don’t need to start boosting and promoting every post that you upload. Stick to the good old 80/20 rule as a guideline. Facebook is a social platform, so 80% of what you are posting about should in some way be social. Use Facebook as the platform in which to build a community and find a way that you are able to add value to your audience and customers. Mix things up with: brand story posts, personal posts, authority-building posts and lead-nurturing posts.

Don’t be ‘spammy’

It feels silly to have to say this but do not try and cheat the system by buying followers. Would-be influencers started doing this a couple of years back and it is so transparent to the educated user. This brings me to the next point, which is to be authentic. Do not use clickbait headlines to try and drive traffic to your site, and for the love of all things holy, please do not spam your audience with 10 poor-quality and irrelevant posts every hour. 

Stick to the platform guidelines and do not waste money on things that are only going to hurt your business in the long-run. Your users might be able to fake it until they make it, but your business can’t. 

AI is great, but it is not everything

I am usually the first person in the room to suggest building a chatbot. I love them and will continue to promote them to my clients, but they need to be developed properly – please do not try building your bot on a free platform, it won’t work. But Facebook is a social platform and there needs to be an element of humanity to it. 

While scheduling all your posts in line with the content plan for the next four months seems like a great plan because it frees up some time to do other work, we shouldn’t disregard the power of snapping a team selfie or showing the employees at the office. Embrace your humanity, don’t hide from it. Social media is where we can be creative, informative and funny – giving our audience something to smile about. 

It is not about the size, it is how you use it

This reiterates my point about why page likes are a waste of money. They negatively impact your performance as well. The larger your fan base or following on Facebook, the harder it is to create content for all the different segments in your audience. If you are going to build a community, you need it to be tight-knit and super hyped. Facebook actively penalises pages with massive followings purely because it is impossible to show relevant content to all those users (as we saw with the Coke example). 


Consumers Are Willing To Spend Money On Brands That Truly Listen

Consumers Are Willing To Spend Money On Brands That Truly Listen
Madelain Roscher, Managing Director of PR Worx.

According to Madelain Roscher, Managing Director of PR Worx, global trends increasingly show that consumers will spend their hard-earned money on brands that are willing to take the time to truly listen to them, understand their needs, and in turn, create products and services that really benefit them.

Many will agree that 2020 required resilience on all fronts and companies and brands realised the importance of Public Relations (PR) as a medium to engage and build long-lasting connections.

Despite advances in digital adoption, with Covid statistics spiking in wave two, the pressure is mounting to interface remotely again. The last nine months have shown that no amount of digitalisation, including chatbots, can replace the importance of communication. Companies that have put authentic and considerate communications front and centre of their businesses continue to thrive.

Take Airbnb as an example. Due to global lockdowns, the company’s whole model was threatened to a point that it almost filed for bankruptcy. However, by listening to their stakeholders, Airbnb was able to develop new offerings that catered for what their customers needed during an unending pandemic. The business heard its customers when they said that remote workers wanted to stay away from larger, busy hotel groups and rather wanted to stay at long-term rentals, while executives were looking for experiences and luxury listings.

Through cost-cutting strategies, but more so, by focusing on its consumers’ core needs, understanding, and addressing their emotional and physical requirements, and implementing internal communications’ methodologies of care and respect for staff, Airbnb turned its business around. They recently listed the biggest initial public offering (IPO) in the United States. It is exactly this inherent understanding of consumer behaviour, and integrating public relations as a critical business tool, that have helped organisations across the world to not only adapt their strategies but to thrive during some of the toughest economic conditions.

While organisations commonly cut their marketing or PR spend to reduce bottom-line expenses, decades of research prove that companies that continue to market during a recession will recover quicker. The recent CMO Survey and The Merkle Research report saw US companies increasing their marketing-communications spend during the Covid-19-periods, with companies investing heavily in social media platforms as direct sales tools, new marketing technologies, customer-centricity initiatives and transaction fulfilment capabilities. 

As with Airbnb, it is the companies that adapt to consumers’ needs, that find new and engaging platforms for communications and direct interaction, and that recognise the importance of being top of mind in times of hardships, that will continue to grow and prosper.

The findings are clear. 2021 will require brands to personify and humanise their clients’ values, vision and objectives to establish real and lasting relationships with their target audiences.

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